We all know what a logo looks like. More or less. A logo design is a combination of text, image, and special mark. We see dozens of logos per day, from those on the daily product to those visible in public spaces. And the logo brings emotions in us.
Scientists indicate that we can recognize our favorite brand logo even in 0.4 seconds. The sign of a well-liked brand triggers a chemical reaction into our brand that corresponds with pleasure and satisfaction. You can read more about this phenomenon here.
Logo design is probably the best and most controversial type of project for a graphic designer. On the other hand, designing a logo for a company is a huge responsibility and the most prestigious of projects you can get. You will create the brand identity of the company and contribute to its image, communication. And your masterpiece will become an icon if everything goes well.
On the other hand, there is another stereotype of “a logo for a hundred euro” from the beginner who thinks that there is nothing easier than creating a logo without understanding the danger of jeopardizing a company with a geometric shape. Meanwhile, even as a beginner, you do not need to limit yourself to copying any logo. There are more possibilities apart from the name and geometric shape. The design choice also matters. Your logo design should be able to represent your brand.
When form matters
When it comes to a logo design, it is made of a graphic design, a subtitle, a company name, and so on. In simple form, those are just a name or a pictogram. You can make many logo variations with those elements. It is impossible to point out the perfect one that will work for every project. Your logo design should fit the character of the company since it will appear very often and reach the target audience with the logo. Do you need a logo for your business? To know more about the business before you start the design process. This guide is a great way for you to make sure that you choose the perfect type of design.
There are 8 types of logos:
- literal graphic symbol
- abstract graphic symbol
Logo design/Typographic logo/Word market
Take a look at those brands: Coca Cola, Disney, Google
Those types of logos are so popular that are taken as synonymous with the brand. Meanwhile, a wordmark is a type of logo that only uses the name of the company and unique typography without any additional graphics. This type of logo is generally associated with a large brand that the name evokes strong associates. It is not necessary to refer to a graphical representation of any industry or specialty.
Due to the simple and clean form, this type of logo is often chosen in the technology industry. They do not need any additional elements that associate with modernity, efficiency, stability. One of the challenges for creating a logotype is lettering. There are used either typeface, especially for the brand (Coca-Cola, Disney). This type of typeface is also very popular and is slightly “tweaked” to fit the character of the brand better and give them some special features. If you use the popular typeface in your design, there is a risk that your logo will not stand out. Not all designers have so much confidence in designing typefaces.
Guide to logotypes: Monogram
Take Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent as examples
Monograms are logos that use more letters than a logo. But they do not use the entire company name like a logotype. They generally consist of the initials of the brand name or the name of the creator. Then combine it into a new graphic mark.
Monograms have a “pedigree” as long as the emblems are discussed below. This association is common to use by luxury brands, car brands. Or those types of brands that would like to be associated with prestige, certainty, and constancy.
Monograms will also work for personal brands such as designers, lawyers, and specialists.
What is the difficult part of creating monograms? The problem is not falling into pretentiousness. A new brand just on the way to building the awareness and combining it with the monogram worthy of a company with prewar tradition may lose more than gaining the awareness.
Example:BBC, HP, Acer
The initials do not need to form a logo to function as a logo. The advantage of this type is the maximum simplification of the message. For a logo composed of initials in a graphically simple form, it will be easier to add more details, for example, a symbol or the name of a sub-brand. The initial is perfect to work with a name that is hard to represent. Do you know Hewlett-Packard? Well, a lot of people know them as “HP.” British Broadcast? The BBC is easier to pronounce and identify. It is not necessary to expand the acronym and is easier to present in the logo.
For example, McDonald’s, Honda
The glyph is the most simplification of the logotype. Take one letter from the brand name and change it to a graphic symbol. That will associate it with the entire name. This type of logo is easy to remember, and its simplified form moves them toward the logo with the graphic sign. So are they the perfect option for a new brand? It depends on the design and how easy to associate them with the full name and industry.
Literal, figurative mark
Example: Apple, Puma, Jaguar
The strength of this type of logo focuses on an image that evokes an association with the brand. The graphic mark is simplified as much as possible, unlike a logo with a mascot or character. This also manifests the popular tendency to move away from overcomplicated logo design.
The graphic sign can be accompanied by the company name, but this type of practice is also slowly being abandoned in favor of leaving the symbol alone.
This type of design will work well if the company name clearly refers to concrete, not an abstract concept. The biggest advantage of this type of logo is that it simplifies communication. The sign affects us faster and stronger than words. On the other hand, the challenge is that to breakthrough for the brand just starts, and hard to associate with the product or service right away.
Guide to logotype: Abstract graphic design
Example: Nike, Mitsubishi, Cisco
The abstract does not come “out of thin air” despite its appearance. The art in creating this type of logo is the creative interpretation that is associated with the brand. The brand value, ethos, history, and so on. In the Nike logo, the characteristic arch refers to the wing of the Greek goddess of victory. Mitsubishi logo refers directly to its name (three stars). Cisco brand logo included the famous San Francisco Golden Gate. The abstract logo leaves the graphic designer enough space to play with association and symbols to play with suggestions and interpretation.
What disadvantage for this type of design? First, the abstraction assumes that both the creator and the recipient operate with similar associations and understand the knowledge of cultural context. This will influence how the audience reads this message contained with the logo. Be careful not to fall into banality in the pursuit of universality-logo with immortal squares. This kind of combination for the graphic designer is one of the examples of the not very creative approach to abstract logos.
Example: Manchester United, Harley Davidson, Tyskie
An emblem is a heritage to shield. More graphic, detail-oriented, using the image and text. The emblem is the ideal type of logo for industries that want to refer to tradition and appeal to the ethos of the community. That is why you will find this type of logo is popular among cultural institutions or companies with long-standing traditions. They keep their logo as part of their history.
What should you know about the emblem design? First, this type of logo is not a universal mark. Emblem has its limitations. They will not always look perfect when countered due to a large amount of detail. Also, will they bring extra trouble for printing in a small format or show it on social media?
Mascot or Character
Example: Bobo Fruit, KFC, Michelin, Johnnie Walker
Have you heard a comparison when someone refers to themselves as looking like a Michelin man? Certain characters and mascots from logos can enter the vernacular as associations and symbols of certain characteristics.
On the other hand, mascots can immortalize real characters such as KFC and Johnnie Walker. Or refer to the name of a product (Cheetos with a panther character). The mascot can warm up the brand image by presenting a friendly character that brings a positive image. The graphic designers need to be careful not to fall into the cliché and lead the logo to have nothing to do with the brand name, value, and service.
When do they work the best? For the brand, focus on the younger audience. Because the smiling animal helps to warm up the image, attribute to the brand those qualities that it attributes to the mascot and establish an emotional bond with the brand for the young viewer.
The logo can come in several forms. They do not always have to operate with an insignificant swirl or square. You can use many forms of them. On the other hand, limited size, specific assumption(readability, recognizability), and functional requirements (scaling, printing, versus) are creative limitations for a graphic designer. You have to make sure that you keep all of them in mind while designing a brand logo. There is no one precise rule to decide which type of logo will work the best for every client. With the experience and intuition, you will be invaluable. So practice, gather inspiration and follow the best experts.